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Poll: Americans embarrassed by military's gay ban

I’m not surprised at this poll, given the strain on the miltary at this time, with recruiting falling through the floor. When is the Pentagon going to realize the public is tiring of the duplicity about gays serving? The fact that official documents surfaced this week, exposing the policy of retention of homos during wartime (with a gay purge afterwards) adds ammunition to the argument that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell needs to be booted.

Even conservatives agree, and because the respondents were all between 18-24, the common dumb notion that recruits are going to be worried about “soap dropping in the shower,” is blown out of the water. Some of the findings:

Barring out gay men and lesbians from serving in the armed forces makes more people embarrassed by the military than proud of it, according to a new University of California poll.

* 24.2% of respondents said that the policy makes them embarrassed by the military
* 17.5% said that the policy makes them proud
* 56% said the policy has no impact on their feelings about the military.

Conservatives were heavily overrepresented in the pool of respondents because the sample was designed to match the characteristics of a cohort of new military recruits. Among respondents to the survey:

* 53.1% were Republicans
* 29.8% were independent/other
* 17% were Democrats
* 81.6% were male
* 18.4% were female
* all were between the ages of 18 and 24.

These characteristics closely match the profile of a cohort of new military recruits.

The survey was designed by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, a research institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to test how the gay ban is perceived among individuals whom the military seeks to recruit. “The fact that even conservatives are embarrassed by the gay ban suggests that the policy is harmful to the military’s reputation,” said Aaron Belkin, director of the group.

This is sure to set off Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness in Livonia, MI. She has been on the warpath for years talking about how being gay disqualifies one from military service.

She’s like a bad penny, she always turns up with her backward opinions on military issues regarding gays, women and anyone else she deems unqualified to serve. She’s run articles about Canada, implying it has a pansy military because gays can enlist. She’s ridiculous, but she spouts the party line – she want’s DADT dropped too, but for completely different reasons. From one of her columns:

The law affirming that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service” deserves continued support. After 12 comprehensive hearings, Congress passed the law with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. There was, and still is, a need to protect good order, morale and discipline in the armed forces.

…The law recognizes that living conditions are often “spartan, primitive and characterized by forced intimacy with little or no privacy.” It also respects the normal human desire for sexual modesty. Servicemen and women should not have to expose themselves to persons who might be sexually attracted to them. It would be unfair to force the homosexual agenda on young people whose lives are difficult enough.

…Retention of Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy has caused untold confusion and a waste of resources that could have been avoided. At the Defense Language Institute, homosexual students who were not eligible for the Army were enrolled in the place of other trainees who were. The Bush administration should clarify the meaning of the law and enforce it, while dropping Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy/regulations.

Legislation or a court order mandating acceptance of homosexuality, similar to that imposed on Britain by a European court, would harm our military and make recruiters’ jobs harder. [BUZZZZZ. Wrong answer. Gays aren’t keeping the numbers down, it’s the senseless war your president started.] Everyone can serve their country in some way, but not everyone is eligible to serve in the military.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding